The Fire of Images: An Announcement
This is the 5th post of 5 in a series on photography.
- Why I Started To Take Photos
- Why I Continue To Take Photos
- Why I Think You Should Take Photos
- Some Practical Tips
- Photography Announcement
Over the last week, we’ve covered quite a lot of ground, but there’s one last thing that I want to write about by way of conclusion to this series: Flickr. I’ve mentioned Flickr quite a few times, as I think it’s important to share your creativity. The creative acts of taking the photograph and editing it naturally lead to the inviting of others to share what you have produced.
Now I’m still very much a learner when it comes to Flickr. I’ve been using it for a while now, but I don’t use it as intensively as some. What I’d like to do in this post, however, is share a few pointers that I’ve picked up, to help you get the most out of your Flickr account, as well as flagging up a few areas that I need to do some more work on, because I really do see great potential in them.
- Tags: This is only something that I’ve started doing in the last 4 months or so, but it has completely changed the way I use my account. It was recommended to me by someone to use tags to increase my visibility on Flickr and to attract more people to my photos. However, what I’ve discovered is, that by using tags, I can find my own photos a whole lot easier. It’s made them searchable, thereby making them useable for integration into blog posts. When writing the 4th post in this series, in which I used many of my Flickr pictures, using the tags to search within my own photostream reduced the amount of time I had to spend trawling through all my images looking for something appropriate. If you are going to start using your own pictures in your blog posts, tagging is essential.
- Descriptions: I’m afraid this is one that I still don’t make full use of. What I have started to do though, and which has had a surprising effect, is that, when I include an image from my photostream in one of my blog posts here, I add a link to the post in the description of the image. What I’m finding is that people are clicking on that link and arriving at the blog to read more. It’s become a source of traffic that is very easy for me to maintain, and is completely organic, in that, the person clicking through has already connected with me through my shared perspective.
- Contacts: Of course, it’s not all just about you sharing your own perspective; it’s about accepting invitations to share the perspective of others too. I connect with many people online: through this blog, Twitter, Facebook etc. But it is through Flickr that I visually connect with their perspective, and that to me is a very special thing indeed. By connecting through Flickr and visiting others’ photostreams, you get to peek through a window into their world, their environment, but more than that, you get to see the way they see things – a way which is necessarily unique to them and to them alone.
- Comments: I love getting comments on my Flickr account. To know that someone has engaged with one of my images to the extent that they have felt moved to comment is just the best feeling. Just like when I write here, and my wonderful community chooses to respond, it gives a sense of connection, of validation, of purpose. Comments strengthen a community – without a range of voices a blog or a Flickr account just becomes a soapbox. Strengthen the Flickr community by lending your own voice to the conversation.
- Favourites: This is another function on Flickr that I don’t use as often as I should, but that I want to investigate further. I know that when one of my photos is favourited by another Flickr member, I get the same positive feelings that I do from a comment. What I want to try and do with my future Flickr use is to make sure I share those positive feelings with other Flickr members, but most particularly with my Flickr contacts. I’m going to be making a point of favouriting a lot more often!
- Groups: For a long time now, I haven’t really understood how to get the best out of groups on Flickr. I’ve joined quite a few, most of them with a Scottish emphasis, but rarely do my contributions receive much attention. However, all this is about to change…
I am launching my own Flickr group, which will be affiliated to Lives Less Ordinary, and I want you to join me there. The group is called Photography Less Ordinary, and to learn more about it, here’s the group description:
Do you want to gain confidence in your photography? Do you want to share the specialness that you see in the everyday? Do you want to embrace your creativity?
Over at my blog, Lives Less Ordinary, I share my conscious engagement with my environment through photographs and reflective thought, in order to show that beauty surrounds us all.
I’ve set up this group so that readers of the blog can share their own unique perspective with the rest of the community. It would be great if you could give a brief description along with your photo: where you were at the time, why you took the photo, what you like about it. If you choose to include your photo in a blog post, you can include your link in the description as well. Flickr accepts some html in the photo descriptions.
It is my hope that, if nothing else, this group will inspire you to pick up your camera and start experimenting with photography.
Ok, so the plan is to provide an extra space for my community here to get to know each other better, to form firm friendships, to find support for their photographic endeavours, as well as providing a space where we can share in each others perspectives, revel in the specialness another member has invited us to appreciate, and embrace the immense diversity of our environments.
The group is by invite only, so in the first instance I am going to send invites to every one of my current contacts on Flickr. If you do not have a Flickr account, but you would like to be involved, you can head over and sign up for a free account, and then click here, which will take you to my Flickr profile, where you can add me as a contact. Any new contacts that I receive will be sent an invite to join Photography Less Ordinary.
I have restricted the number of photos you can contribute to 5 per week, so choose the ones you are most proud of and add them to the group. I’ve started a discussion thread where you can introduce yourself, which I strongly recommend, and I hope to have a variety of discussions on the go there soon. I would also like to take this opportunity to ask you to comment and favourite generously on the group photos. I want it to be a place which nurtures and supports and, as I’ve already said here, commenting and favouriting can do both of these things wonderfully well.
Do you have any Flickr pointers that you would like to add here? Is there something that you would like to explore further through Flickr?
Oh, and most importantly, will I see you over at Photography Less Ordinary?